Digital Harbor Foundation

The Digital Harbor Foundation is dedicated to fostering innovation, tech advancement and entrepreneurship through maker activities and tech-workforce development.

When the South Baltimore Recreation Center in Baltimore City was closing down two years ago, DHF presented a bold vision of re-imagining the community space as a Tech Center where youth would have access to opportunities in the high-growth tech sector, and community events would support digital literacy and maker activities for all ages.

Led by former public school teacher Andrew Coy, the DHF team is tackling some of the most difficult problems in education while simultaneously providing under-represented youth concrete pathways into tech-related careers. While only a year old, the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center has gained national recognition for its vision in the afterschool community and education-technology sector.

The DHF has found a way to reach kids with divergent interests by forming a productive educational environment with the student’s personal goals and interests as the focus.

We strive to create a learning environment of structured autonomy, where all the work is youth-directed, said Coy.

We allow them to decide what they want to do. Our job is to inspire and support. The only real rule is that they must be productively making something. Ultimately, it’s about helping youth get where they want to go (in terms of both specific projects and in life in general) while enjoying the process. In other words: learning how to learn and learning to love learning.

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